Smoking your perfect brisket should end nicely with well-sliced pieces. The good news is, slicing smoked brisket is something you can easily do with a few directions. Join us as we explore how to slice brisket like an expert in a few steps.
What Is a Brisket?
Before going any further, let’s pause here for a minute and consider the anatomy of the brisket. A full-packer brisket comes from the lower chest area of an animal.
It contains two main parts: the point and the flat. The point is fattier, and the flat is leaner. You can buy each part separately or buy the whole packer.
When Should You Start Slicing?
To get the best out of your brisket, slice it when you are ready to serve. Don’t rush to slice it immediately as it gets out of the smoker. Instead, you should let it rest.
Take the brisket out of the smoker once it is fully cooked. This is usually once it reaches an internal temperature of about 190–205 degrees Fahrenheit (88–96 degrees Celsius).
Wrap it in foil (if it wasn’t already) and allow it to rest for 1–3 hours. Experts say that this allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. This will help in keeping the brisket tender.
Gather the tools you will need to slice the brisket as you wait.
Which Tools Do You Need to Slice a Brisket?
The right tools will make the process of slicing your brisket easier. You need a butcher’s block and a good knife.
A brisket knife – To make the slicing process easier, you need to invest in a good brisket slicing knife. The ideal knife should be sharp, long, and well serrated. The ideal length should be around 12–14 inches.
You don’t want to go back and forth as you cut through, and that’s why it’s important to have a proper knife.
A butcher’s block – It will be hard for you to cut your brisket if it keeps sliding around, and that’s why the block is important. It will allow you to move large pieces of meat as you wish, making the slicing process easier.
A typical chopping board would also work, but you need one that will hold the weight of the brisket and keep it in place. You may need to support it with a wet towel to ensure it stays in place.
How Do I Slice a Brisket?
You now have your well-rested brisket and the right tools. Let’s go through the steps of slicing your brisket.
Separate the parts
The first part of the process is cutting your brisket in half to separate the point and the flat. You need to slice against the grain to ensure the brisket retains its juiciness.
Cutting against the grain will cut through the muscle fibers, making them shorter. This will help ensure the meat is tender as you won’t have many fibers to chew through.
The fibers of the point and the flat run in opposite directions.
Trim the excess fat
You can skip this part if your brisket was perfectly trimmed before smoking. If it wasn’t, it will become greasy and mask the flavor when serving. Trim any fat you can see.
Remove the tip
In most cases, the tip of the brisket ends up getting burnt and overcooked. It doesn’t add anything to your brisket, so you can go ahead and chop it off.
Find the grain
This is the most important part of the process, and you don’t want to mess it up.
Place your brisket on the butcher’s block and study it carefully. Look at the strands of muscle that run through the meat. They will show as thick lines. That’s the grain.
We said that cutting against the grain makes the meat tender because you will have fewer fibers to chew through, which should be your goal. Start slicing against the grain once you find it. (Set the knife across the fibers at 90 degrees once you identify them.)
Start with the flat and then go on to the point. Remember, the grains run in different directions for the two parts. Take a minute to confirm you are still cutting against the grain when you move from the flat to the point.
However, don’t slice all the brisket if you are not planning to serve all of it. This will only make it lose its juiciness and mess up your hours of careful tending on the smoker.
You might not be able to cut all the way on the first attempt, and that is okay. Use your knife in a see-saw motion, working from top to bottom.
Aiming for pencil width thickness is recommended when slicing, but you can go for thinner pieces. You can try a thicker cut, too, if that is too thin or your pieces are falling apart.
Interested in more articles about smoking brisket? Well, you’re in the right place! Check out these articles we have prepared for you:
How to Smoke Brisket and Pro Brisket Tips
5 Best Kinds Of Wood For Smoking Brisket
Brisket Terminology and Cooking For Food Smoking
For more great ideas on how to get the most out of your Bradley Smoker, check out the awesome articles on our Bradley Smoker Food Smoking Blog for more tips & tricks.